Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has admitted a writ petition for issuing directions to both the central and state governments to release blocked biometrics collected during the process of drafting the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The petitioners, Sanjoy Dey and his son Anoowabh, appealed to the court to ensure that their locked biometrics were released to enable them to apply for their Aadhar cards.

They also appealed for the Court’s intervention to get the NRC rejection slips so that he and four other members of his family can exercise their right to appeal against NRC exclusion in the Court.

Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak after hearing their petition on Wednesday, admitted it and posted the case for hearing on March 9.

The petitioners said that the Aadhar card office had made it clear that they will not be issued the cards in their names to prevent any duplication of their biometrics as their fingerprints are already locked. The matter was mentioned during the hearing of their application for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens.

“This is depriving us of so many basic rights and we appeal to the court to intervene,” they told the court.

Biometrics of 27.43 lakh applicants were taken during the claims and objections phase of the NRC exercise before the list was published on August 31, 2019. The NRC authority later froze the biometric data collected, following which these applicants cannot apply for their Aadhar card.

Five family members of Sanjoy Dey had applied for inclusion in the NRC on August 27, 2015, but none of them were included in either the draft or the final citizen list.

Supreme Court had directed in November 2018 that for those left out of the draft NRC list published on July 31, 2018, it is mandatory to submit their biometrics during the claim hearings.

Altogether 27.43 lakh people had registered for their biometrics but 19 lakh did not find their names in the final list.

The final NRC, published more than two and a half years ago, has made no further progress. The list is yet to be formally published by the Registrar General of India. Rejection slips have not yet been issued and stakeholders are demanding re-verification of a part of the final list with several petitions pending in the Supreme Court.

At midnight of December 31, 2017, the part publication of draft NRC in which names of 1.9 crore persons of the total 3.29 crore applications received was released. On July 30, 2018, the complete publication of draft NRC with 2.9 crore people included and more than 40 lakhs excluded was released. The final list published on August 31, 2019, included over 3.11 crore of the total applicants while over 19 lakh were excluded.

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